Time Warner monopoly?

    by

    Hi neighbors,

    I live on 19th Street south of Park Slope and am trying to find an internet service provider. I previously had Time Warner but had major issues with spotty service and, of course, terrible customer service that never resolved the issues. I have checked with both Verizon and Comcast and both say they can/do not provide service to my area “because Time Warner controls that area.”
    Does anyone have any experience with this or have any suggestions as to a different provider? Or can it be true that Time Warner really holds a monopoly? Is this legal?

    Thanks for any help/comments!

    11 Replies

    1. It’s a franchise agreement with the city/state. If cable/telephones were left to free enterprise they would only go to dense & profitable areas and leave the rest of the city unconnected. The companies are given a local monopoly in exchange for providing service to all addresses and having price increases and other changes approved by government. This way instead of some people getting the best and some getting nothing, everyone gets an average product. One could say this is why socialism failed.

    2. I use a Verizon Air Card. They have much faster 4G version now. I use it on a laptop so I can use it anywhere in the U.S.

    3. Thanks for your helpful comments. Verizon says simply that they do not provide internet service at my address, and that’s all the information they can provide. I am on 19th street between 6th and 7th avenue – maybe it’s just my block?
      I don’t want to go with DirecTV because I don’t want cable TV, I just want internet (cable TV prices are too expensive for me).
      It’s really abominable that the government allows monopolies like this. No wonder Time Warner is known for being terrible – they have no incentive to treat their customers with even the least bit of respect, because there is no other option!
      I will definitely take a look at Clear – thanks for the help!

    4. Thanks for your helpful comments. Verizon says simply that they do not provide internet service at my address, and that’s all the information they can provide. I am on 19th street between 6th and 7th avenue – maybe it’s just my block?
      I don’t want to go with DirecTV because I don’t want cable TV, I just want internet (cable TV prices are too expensive for me).
      It’s really abominable that the government allows monopolies like this. No wonder Time Warner is known for being terrible – they have no incentive to treat their customers with even the least bit of respect, because there is no other option!
      I will definitely take a look at Clear – thanks for the help!

    5. I have Earthlink DSL, which works fine, with few problems except when Verizon technicians are working on the backyard phone lines and accidentally disconnect it (about every other year). The nice thing about Earthlink is that when there is a rare disruption, you can use their dial-up service, a poor substitute, but better than nothing.

    6. ditto what snappy says, I have my ADSL thru speakeasy.net, check them out. I brought it with me from the center Slope. Of course it runs over Verizon equipment.

    7. I live very near you and I’m shocked to hear you couldn’t get Verizon’s internet service. I used to have that, but now have TWC’s internet. Although I do believe TWC’s internet is faster (spotty service and all), if you really want something else, call Verizon back. Whoever there told you they don’t service our area is wrong.

    8. unfotunately this is correct, cable companies were allocated areas by congress and this situation is still the norm.

      in other countries (australia where i’m from) they have the same thing with cable tv providers BUT we also have ADSL (and the many variants SHDSL HDSL etc etc).

      This high speed internet service comes over the copper phone lines and you can find as many as 20 different companies competiting in the major metropolitan areas.

      Verizon in the USA offers ADSl and it sucks, it’s only a max of 2mb.

      So basically your choices are TimeWarner or wimax (eg clear etc).

      Complain to your local politician that the current situation cannot continue as only when more people bitch about this oligopoly will things change.

    9. I was also going to suggest Clear. We are trying it out and so far so good. I haven’t tried streaming a movie yet, but regular Internet use has been excellent. So easy to set up. You purchase the equipment in the store and can be connected within 15 minutes of opening the box. I think you get a 30 day trial period.